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Is the MySQL situation an opportunity or a distraction?

From: "Nick Fankhauser" <nickf(at)ontko(dot)com>
To: <pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Is the MySQL situation an opportunity or a distraction?
Date: 2003-06-26 19:13:42
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
The recent discussion of opportunities among the new orphans in the MySQL
community raises another issue in my mind-

Do we really want the MySQL users?

Will they be satisfied with us? -I'm not sure it is a good match.

In comparing the two databases, I've often likened MySQL to an economy car
and PostgreSQL to a reliable large truck:

MySQL is not equipped to handle large loads, but is simple to install and
operate. MySQL makes sense for folks who need a lightweight database that
allows them to ignore database administration and concentrate on developing
low-volume applications quickly.

On the other hand, PostgreSQL is the obvious choice if you have a
high-volume application- But you have to be willing to do a little learning
before you can operate it.

Given my perception of these niches, I've never really felt that the
databases were serious rivals- Each had a niche to fill and each fit
perfectly in that niche.

I've been rather glad to be in the company of the folks who have "learned to
drive the truck" because we're thus not distracted by folks who aren't ready
to take that step. My attitude has always been that we should let MySQL have
those folks- when their databases get big and they get serious about
administering them, they will naturally migrate over. I'm not putting down
this group- just noting that their needs and skills are different.

My fear is that too much outreach to the MySQL crowd will lead to PostgreSQL
acquiring a split personality and loss of momentum- If we work too hard on
the features that make PostgreSQL simple to install and administer, will it
suck resources away from the efforts to maintain PostgreSQL as the clear
leader in the areas of reliability and load-handling?

I'd suggest that early in the advocacy process, there should be some clarity
about the niche(s) that PGSQL is aiming for. This will help us sort out the
opportunities from the distractions.

I'm not necessarily concluding that MySQL is a distraction, but I think the
question is worth asking. (I have similar reservations about supporting MS

Josh- this thought is an outgrowth of the short thread we had on the order
of .conf parameter groups- The best order depends heavily on who we decide
the target user group is. Without that decision made, the whole discussion
is moot.


"If you don't know where you want to go, any road will get you there."

Nick Fankhauser

    nickf(at)doxpop(dot)com  Phone 1.765.965.7363  Fax 1.765.962.9788
doxpop - Court records at your fingertips -


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Subject: Re: Is the MySQL situation an opportunity or a distraction?
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